The Pakistan government has launched its own mineral water brand to cut costs as part of its austerity drive to solve the cash-strapped nation's financial woes, according to a media report. Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said the bottled water called Safe Drinking Water would be a cheaper alternative to other mineral water brands in the market.
Earlier in July, the Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) told a parliamentary committee that all bottled water companies operating in Pakistan were selling "artificial" water instead of natural water.
Chaudhry said the introduction of cheaper bottled water was in line with the government's austerity drive. The mineral water bottles will first be used at the Prime Minister's office, President's house and Parliament, he added.
“We have rolled out these water bottles for Rs 1 per litre and it is a quality drinking water,” the federal minister told The Express Tribune.
In the first phase, Chaudhry said, it will be introduced at government offices after which it will be made available to the general public. The International Monetary Fund's executive board recently approved a three-year USD 6 billion bailout plan to resuscitate Pakistan's ailing economy.
But the IMF has attached some tough terms for the bailout, indicating that the government needs to take strict austerity measures.
Chaudhry said the government is also planning to introduce environment-friendly motorcycles and rickshaws, which will run on rechargeable batteries.
The minister said that the electronic vehicles would help conserve energy and protect the environment.